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How to Deal with Contact Lens Discomfort

Do your eyes itch or burn when wearing contact lenses? There are several reasons why you may be experiencing contact lens discomfort. Discover the possible causes behind the problem and see what you can do to relieve your discomfort.

What Causes Contact Lens Discomfort?

Some of the top causes of uncomfortable contacts are:

Dry eyes

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that arises when your tears can’t keep your eyes sufficiently lubricated due to an imbalance in the tear film. Certain diseases, medications and environmental factors, like high levels of dryness and wind, can cause or contribute to red, itchy or irritated eyes, especially when wearing contacts.

Allergies

Allergens are typically harmless substances that induce an allergic response in certain people. Pollen, mold, dust and pet dander are some of the most common airborne allergens that trigger eye allergies. Cosmetics and certain eye drops, such as artificial tears with preservatives, can also induce eye allergies, which can make contact lens wear uncomfortable.

Corneal irregularities

The cornea at the front of the eye may be irregularly shaped due to astigmatism, keratoconus, eye surgeries (i.e. LASIK or cataract surgery), eye injuries or burns, scarring, corneal ulcers and/or severe dry eye. Irregular corneas often prevent traditional contact lenses from fitting correctly and comfortably.

Symptoms of Contact Lens Discomfort

  • Burning, itchy, stinging eyes
  • Sensation of something being stuck is in the eye
  • Excessive watering or tearing of the eyes
  • Unusual eye secretions
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Reduced sharpness of vision
  • Blurred vision, rainbows, or halos around objects
  • Sensitivity to light

How to Relieve Contact Lens Discomfort

Try Different Contact Lenses

Nowadays, there are many types of contact lenses on the market, including specialty contacts for dry eyes and astigmatism. Meet with our optometrist for a personalized eye exam for contacts.

With the variety of contact lens brands available, switching to a different contact lens may be the simplest answer if you’re experiencing discomfort that isn’t connected to improper fitting or issues with tear production. If your existing lenses fit well but still irritate and dry out your eyes, speak to us about trying a different design or brand of contact lenses, or changing your lens-wearing schedule.

Artificial Tears or Eye Drops

Over-the-counter artificial tears or eye drops are a common way to temporarily relieve contact lens discomfort. However, it’s important to keep in mind that unless prescribed by an eye doctor, they may not be treating the root of the problem.

Moreover, certain eye drops are incompatible with contact lenses, and may damage your contacts or harm your eyes. We also recommend staying away from products that claim to remove redness from your eyes, which temporarily reduce the size of blood vessels to lessen redness, but do not address the underlying cause of the condition, and can actually worsen it over time.

Take Good Care of Your Lenses

Inadequate contact lens care leaves residue on your lenses, which can discomfort, harmful eye infections and inflammation. Below are a few important contact lens hygiene guidelines to follow:

  • Before handling your contact lenses, thoroughly wash and dry your hands.
  • Remove your lenses before showering, bathing or swimming to prevent infection.
  • Do not sleep in your contact lenses (unless they are approved for sleeping).
  • Replace your contact lenses according to the manufacturer’s instructions (e.g., don’t reuse daily wear lenses).
  • Regularly clean your contact lens case and ask your eye doctor when to replace it.
  • Only use a contact lens solution that is appropriate for your lenses.
  • Never reuse or mix contact lens solutions.
  • Schedule regular appointments with your eye doctor.

If you are experiencing discomfort with your contact lenses, get in touch with Professional VisionCare in Lewis Center today. We’ll get to the bottom of the problem and provide effective solutions for all-day comfort.

Q&A

What kinds of contacts are available?

Contact lenses are available in a wide range of materials and replacement schedules. Disposable contact lenses and extended wear contacts are the most convenient for many users.

I’ve already been fitted for contact lenses, so why did my optometrist ask me to come back?

If you’re asked to return a week later, it’s because your optometrist wants to rule out any issues, such as contact lens-related dry eye or irritation.

If it’s been around a year since your last eye checkup, you’ve likely been contacted to check whether your prescription has changed and to evaluate your eye health. The sooner problems are detected and treated, the better the outcome.

6 Contact Lens Tips for Winter Weather

contact lens eye exam near me

Contact Lens Eye Exam | Professional VisionCare

Winter’s cold, brisk, windy outdoor weather coupled with hot and dry indoor heating can take a toll on your eyes — especially if you wear contact lenses.

Neither situation is ideal for optimal eye comfort, so what can you do to make wearing contact lenses more comfortable this winter? Below are a few tips to help you navigate the winter contact lens wearing issue. However, if you still have questions about your contact lenses or general eye health, contact Professional VisionCare in Lewis Center and we’ll be happy to help!

Tips For Contact Lens Comfort This Winter

1. Stay Hydrated

Since the eyes are part of an entire system, a dehydrated body means dehydrated eyes. This can lead to eye redness, irritation, grittiness, and other symptoms of dry eye syndrome. So make sure you stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 cups of water a day. And no, coffee and alcohol don’t count!

2. Put Moisture Back Into the Air

Heating systems are notorious for causing eye dryness and irritation. Whether you have central vent heating, a fireplace, a space heater, or wall radiator — you’ll want to combat the arid air with a cool-mist humidifier. Your eyes will thank you for it!

3. Don’t Overwear Your Contacts

Each pair of contact lenses is designed to be worn for a specific amount of time. Whether it’s for the number of hours you wear them per day or how frequently they need to be replaced with a fresh pair. So make sure to follow your eye doctor’s instructions to avoid eye discomfort.

4. Give Your Eyes a Break

If the weather is making your contact lenses uncomfortable, why not wear your specs from time to time? It can change up your look and give your eyeballs a rest. Consider removing your contacts when you’re home from work or school and see how you feel.

5. Protect Your Eyes With Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a year-round must, but even more so for contact lens wearers! Cool winds and even light breezes can cause the moist surface of your eyes to evaporate more quickly. Wearing shades helps maintain ocular hydration.

And don’t forget – always wear a quality pair of sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection.

6. Visit Your Eye Doctor

If your contact lenses aren’t feeling as comfortable as they should this winter season, the best thing you can do for your eyes is to schedule a contact lens consultation with your eye doctor.

Sometimes, contact lens discomfort is due to ill-fitting lenses. In such cases, trying a different type or brand of contact lens may be the solution. If winter dryness is the problem, your eye doctor may prescribe lubricating drops or lenses designed to retain moisture.

Our dedicated staff is committed to helping you achieve the highest level of comfort and visual clarity.

Don’t let contact lens irritation get in your way of enjoying winter. We can help! Contact us to schedule an eye exam or to ask any questions you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Amy R. Lay

Q: Can you request lenses made from glass? Is glass still used for lenses?

  • A: Yes. Opticians still sometimes use glass for lenses. However, glass is not used very often because they aren’t as safe. If these glass lenses breaks, they can shatters into many pieces and can injure the eye. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, so they can make your eyeglasses less comfortable to wear.

Q: Can a coating be added to eyeglasses to protect them from further scratches?

  • A: A protective coating can’t be added to a lens after it’s scratched. The coating is applied when the lens is manufactured and can’t be put on later.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Lewis Center, Ohio. Visit Professional VisionCare for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

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